|The "curse of the black cat" was something Ron Santo|
could never quite shake...
One can't disagree more. It is never too late to bestow honor. Santo's relatives, his friends, and his fans will be buoyed by his induction into the Hall. Many players have been inducted posthumously, and while it is a shame that each of them could not be present to receive their honors, there is nothing empty about the gesture, no matter how rotten the timing.
|Gil Hodges, managerial artist|
That isn't meant to absolve it, not by any means. Without a coherent set of induction policies, and with a leadership mostly disconnected from the precepts and practices of the historian, the Hall of Fame has floundered. Potential remedies to what has become a calcified and politicized "side door" induction process have been bungled, with the result that an increasing number of deserving players remain on the outside looking in.
|Dick Allen, "conceptual artist"|
A movement to rectify this situation--as opposed to achieving utopian reform for the almost-comically flawed Veterans Committee voting process--could certainly use Ron Santo as a rallying point.
But such a movement really ought to add in a slate of other overlooked players to demonstrate that the broken process needs a massive one-time correction. Along with Santo, candidates for such a "rectification slate" include Bob Caruthers, Gil Hodges, Dick Allen, and Bobby Grich.
|Bobby Grich, defensive artist|
The largest, most inclusive Hall of Fame that is possible is really the only approach that can work in an imperfect world. If the anger and bitterness over Ron Santo being cheated out of his chance for public veneration is channeled into a larger effort, a rectifying event will have even more meaning, and just might produce some of the needed changes that so many of us have discussed for such a long, long time.